Rahul Dravid to lead Rajasthan Royals!
The Rajasthan Royals captain is incidentally also being bestowed with the "Polly Umrigar Award for India's best cricketer of 2010-11 season" by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The 38-year-old former Indian captain had a great year in which he scored 1,258 runs in 15 Tests, which included six centuries.
Rahul Dravid said: "I am honoured to lead the Rajasthan Royals. I hope to live up to the confidence shown in me by the franchise and give our fans an exciting season of cricket. I look forward to the valuable inputs from my team mates who are already leading their national sides and clubs. My aim will be to get the best out of a very talented squad and invoke the same team spirit that won the franchise the first IPL and has been a hallmark of the Rajasthan Royals ever since. I am confident that by doing so we will have a great chance of doing well in the tournament."
Raghu Iyer, CEO - Rajasthan Royals, said: "We are delighted to announce Dravid as Captain. He epitomises all the values of the Royals franchise with his true grit and never say die attitude. We hope all Royals fans will get behind Rahul and the team in the upcoming seasons."
Shane Warne, the former captain of Rajasthan Royals, said: "I would like to congratulate Rahul Dravid on his appointment as the Captain of the Royals. He is not only one of the world's best batsmen, but a leader par excellence. The Royals Squad is a bunch of extremely energetic and talented players who know their roles perfectly well and I am sure they will thrive under Dravid's inspiring leadership. I will be keenly following the Royals and Dravid and would like to wish them the best!"
Rajasthan Royals, who lifted the IPL Cup in its inaugural season in 2008, is looking to repeat the winning performance under Dravid's astute leadership in next year's tournament. The best-ever one down batsman to have played for the country has been impressed with the strong bonding and fighting spirit displayed by the team during his first season with them. As captain, Dravid would look to lead and inspire the team, which is a balanced blend of young and experienced players.
Dravid would also be a valuable asset in the Royals initiatives on young talent such as the Kanni Thahryamal Tournament that concluded at Jaipur's Sanskar School today. Dravid is a role model for many a youngster in Rajasthan and his efforts in mentoring them will help guide them to achieve their goals.
The cricketing legend has been in excellent form and is now the highest run-getter in Tests in 2011 and crossed 13,000 runs in this format, only the second batsmen in the history of the game to do it. Since he joined Rajasthan Royals, Dravid has been the team's best batsman, notching 343 runs in 12 matches at a strike rate of 109.24. He will be using more than 15 years of experience to be the driving force of the team and help deliver wonderful performances for the team's fans and supporters.